Yesterday, I saw a picture of Amelia sitting on some stairs with a group of toddlers from her babies’ home. She was crying mad, fingers in her mouth, perfect eyebrows hooding her usually gigantic round eyes. I loved it.
We have a nearly identical picture of Caroline crying in her preschool class picture. I may frame them together.
Amelia’s cry was not the pitiful cry of an orphan. In fact, we were educated thoroughly at the start of this process about how children in large orphanages are more likely to give you a blank stare than a cry. Institutionalized babies learn quickly that their cries are not met with a response. No one hears them, so they give up on crying early.
Our girl, praise God, is not in an institution. She is not being raised as an orphan. She is in a home. Her cry is not pitiful. It is the cry of an entitled little princess who knows how to draw a loving reaction from her caretakers nearly instantly. She knows how to connect with others. She’s learned that her smiles are received with smiles, and her tears are met with warm arms and kisses. As one sweet visitor wrote in a recent letter that we will forever treasure, “I think she is already conscious of her own charm.” She has certainly charmed us.